Mega Monday: Manectric

 Artwork by  @ RussellLeCroy

Artwork by @RussellLeCroy

This Mega Monday is the best Mega Monday. Why? Alliteration always accentuates an article! This ‘M’ Pokémon first appeared in the Hoenn in Gen III. He’s the main Pokébro of gym leader Wattson, and with good reason! he’s got great speed and special attack, and a really strong movepool to take full advantage of those stats. A round of applause, please, for Manectric and Mega Manectric, the discharge Pokémon.

Competitive Analysis

Ability: from Static, Lightning Rod or Minus to Intimidate

Stats:

HP – 70 -> 70

Attack – 75 -> 75

Defence – 60 -> 80

Special attack – 105 -> 135

Special defence – 60 -> 80

Speed – 105 -> 135

Total – 475 -> 575

Manectric got a huge boost in Pokémon X and Y with his mega form. In addition to a big spike in Special Attack and Speed, he gains the very useful ability Intimidate. Handily, Manectric has access to volt switch, meaning he can drop the opposition's stats after mega evolving, hit hard and fast, and pivot into another Pokémon for an even bigger advantage.

A 135 speed stat is absolutely fantastic! In the current meta-game, his only speed rivals are Mega Alakazam and Mega Aerodactyl (not counting choice scarf wearers or abilities like swift swim.) You'll probably want to make room in his moveset for Hidden Power Ice. 135 Special Attack with a positive nature is enough to guarantee a one-hit KO on a standard Garchomp, one of Manectric’s biggest threats, and with that incredible speed, he’ll also be going before Garchomp can do anything to him.

The downsides of Manectric include his less-than-amazing HP and Defenses. Ground is his only weakness, but it’s a big one. Lots of his threats can OHKO even through an intimidate. That’s why it’s important to know when to volt-switch, protect, or even just a normal switch depending on the situation.

STRATEGY AND MOVESETS

Manectric is very versatile and you can make a few simple tweaks to fit your style that will make a big difference in how he will work.

You'll almost always want your regular Manectric's ability to be Lightning Rod. This makes Manectric useful even before mega evolving, and if you predict your opponent's plays correctly, could make for an incredible start to a match. Even if you go straight into your mega, Lightning Rod will make your opponent think twice about which move they'll choose.

If you’re planning on having Hidden Power Ice, you’ll need to spend a  little extra time breeding. His IVs need to be HP: 31, Atk: 30 (or any even number), Def: 30, SAtk: 31, SDef: 31, and Speed 31.

If you want to guarantee a OHKO on Garchomp with HP Ice, you’ll want his nature to be Modest (Special attack + / Attack -), but if you want to make sure you’re the speediest Manectric around, and you’re comfortable living on the edge (with around a 50% chance to OHKO Garchomp with HP Ice), go Timid (Speed + / Attack -).

On the other hand, if you want to get really sneaky and you hate Aegislash (or substitute users in general), or even if you just hate the idea of breeding for a specific Hidden Power, Snarl can be a huge asset. Snarl hits both opposing Pokémon, even through a substitute, and lowers the opposing ‘mon’s Special Attack by 1 stage. Snarl means Manectric can be a drain on any type of attacker. If you go with a Snarl build, a Timid or Modest nature can work, depending on whether you're more concerned with outspending or getting a bit more damage in.

To round out coverage, you’ll want Overheat or Flamethrower. Overheat can be a liability, but it's a relatively safe pick if you’re also running Volt Switch (to reset the drop in Special Attack.)

The final slot should probably be Protect. It lets Manectric outrun Garchomp, even if you’ve built  the Modest version (protect on the round you mega evolve, then the speed value is 135, comfortably outspeeding the land shark.)

So a moveset might look like:

- Volt Switch / Thunderbolt

- Hidden Power Ice / Snarl

- Overheat (if you chose Volt Switch) / Flamethrower

- Protect


Design

It's hard to deny the resemblance to Goku, even harder when he mega-evolves into a Super Saiyan Level 4. And why would you want to deny it? That's pretty cool. The extra long, spiky hair gives him an abrasive look, like a bolt of lighting, but his coloration softens the scariness a bit.

TCG

Mega Manectric has not yet appeared in the TCG.


Anime

Mega Manectric has not yet appeared in the anime.


Closing Remarks

Manectric is one of the most versatile Mega Pokémon. He has an amazing move pool, great abilities before and after mega evolution, access to volt switch to really capitalize on intimidate, some surprises with things like Lightning Rod, hidden power ice, and snarl and one of the highest speed stats in the game paired with an incredible special attack. He's also one of the very few Pokémon with intimidate that isn't itself vulnerable to intimidate. All of that and a hairstyle to make you feel like a Saiyan. Manectric's lightning-fast moves will have your opponent's head spinning while you run circles around them.